Leon S. Peters Foundation Advances Care for Pediatric Oncology Patients

Leon S. Peters Foundation Advances Care for Pediatric Oncology Patients

(Madera, California) – The Leon S. Peters Foundation has generously donated $1 million to Valley Children’s to establish “The Endowed Chair of Oncology and Hematology, Donated by Leon S. Peters,” and create “The Leon S. Peters Oncology and Hematology Endowment” at the hospital.

“The Leon S. Peters Foundation has a rich legacy of generous investment across the Valley and to Valley Children’s mission at both our main campus in Madera and our outpatient center in Fowler,” said Todd Suntrapak, President and CEO of Valley Children’s Healthcare. “The Peters family’s most recent gift will have a multigenerational, positive impact on the care that Valley Children’s provides for pediatric oncology and hematology patients. We are tremendously grateful for their support.”  

“The Leon S. Peters Foundation’s gift towards an Endowed Chair of Oncology and Hematology is a resounding affirmation of the magnificent work being performed at the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center of Valley Children’s Hospital,” said Dr. Vinod Balasa, Division Chief and Medical Director of the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. “This gift and the creation of an endowed chair will greatly enhance the mission and vision of the Hematology and Oncology Departments at Valley Children’s to provide the best care for children suffering from life-threatening cancer and other blood disorders right where they live. I am truly honored and sincerely humbled to be the first individual to hold this prestigious endowed chair position, as we continue our efforts towards ensuring that state-of-the-art care is available for these affected children and families - right here, right now. A big thank you to the Leon S. Peters Foundation for their generosity.”

Leon S. Peters, son of Armenian immigrants, was born in Fowler, CA, in 1905. He grew up on the family farm and graduated from Fowler High School. In 1929, he went to work as a salesman for Valley Foundry and Machine Works selling irrigation equipment. In 1937, he purchased the company. During Prohibition, the company manufactured equipment for wineries making sacramental wines. At the end of Prohibition, he expanded the company to supply equipment for the growing wine industry. Due to his entrepreneurial vision, he led the company through change and expansion to become a world-recognized supplier of winery equipment.

Leon S. Peters was a man of high values, ethics, and character. He was also a respected businessman, civic leader, and philanthropist who lived and worked according to the highest ethical standards. He loved and valued his community and considered its welfare his personal responsibility. The Leon S. Peters Foundation supports numerous charitable causes in the Central Valley.

“The Leon S. Peters Foundation values the mission of Valley Children’s and the very vital work of the oncology program,” said Leon S. Peters Foundation Chair Kenneth K. Peters. “If we could have a small part in supporting children with cancer and provide them with resources they need to fight this awful disease, the foundation stands prepared to join the great team at Valley Children’s in this fight.”

The Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Valley Children’s services as one of the leading pediatric cancer facilities on the West Coast and the only provider of pediatric oncology services between Los Angeles and the Bay Area. The center includes an outpatient unit and 36-bed inpatient unit. As a member of the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) and a participant of industry-sponsored clinical trials, we offer our patients access to 83 open protocols for treating childhood cancer. Today, with enhanced therapies and supportive care, Valley Children’s cancer patient cure rates average 85%. Learn more about the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center at Valley Children’s here.

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